How To Get From Amsterdam To Bruges

Last Updated: November 5, 2023

Gerrit Vandenberg

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

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Hi, I'm Gerrit

I enjoy sharing useful tips about the beauty of this county.

Do You wonder how to get from Amsterdam to Bruges?

Then this article is written for you. In this article, I go over how to get from Amsterdam to Bruges.

I am a Dutch tour guide, but I also have a crush on Bruges (even though it’s in Belgium and not the Netherlands, it’s right next door). It’s easy to travel from Amsterdam to Belgium.

You have different options on how to get to Bruges from Amsterdam: you can go by train, bus, car, and yes, also by tour bus.

Bruges (Brugge in Dutch) is a gorgeous old medieval city, and I have visited it many times before.

It’s not good for me with all the delicious chocolate, freshly warm baked waffles, and the alluring outside terraces for a drink and a snack. Maybe that’s why I love it so much.

Even with all the tourists there, you can’t help but fall in love with Bruges once you’ve been.

It’s the number one requested destination by customers to include in their itinerary. I have been asked this question so often I thought, why not write an article about it?

You’re reading it now 🙂

I understand why Amsterdam and Bruges are cities with the fairy tale magic feel about them.

TIP: Consider that the shortest travel time to Bruges still takes 3 hours each way. So, you’ll travel 6-8 hours of your day.

If that sounds like too much, consider Delft as a Bruges alternative.

Curious? Check out my post on Delft: Delfts Magic: 10 Must-Do Things To Do In Delft ✨

It is a beautiful tiny city near The Hague and Rotterdam that is just as lovable and only one hour from Amsterdam.

Do you still want to go to Bruges? I don’t blame you. If you’re in a hurry, here is a quick rundown of your travel options to Bruges:

  • By Train: The quickest option. Travel time: 3 hours from Amsterdam to Bruges.
  • By Coach: This takes 4 1/2 hours but is significantly cheaper.
  • By Car: A car takes slightly longer than the train 3 1/2 hours on average.
  • By Tour Bus: Surprisingly enough a tour can be smart for a day trip.

You can book any of the transportation options from above right here:

Or stick around, and we go over each option individually.

In the article you learn all about how to get from Amsterdam to Bruges the beautiful medieval city in Belgium.
How to get from Amsterdam to Bruges, the beautiful medieval city in Belgium.

Understanding Your Options

You have four different options when it comes to how to get from Amsterdam to Bruges: by train, bus, (rental) car, or take a Bruges Tour from Amsterdam.

If you don’t like to travel on your own, I recommend traveling to Bruges on a tour. The tour I recommend leaves early and returns late. Leaving you enough time to discover Bruges in a meaningful way.

But if you don’t mind traveling by yourself one of the most convenient ways to travel is by train.

The Amsterdam to Bruges train journey takes under 3 hours, and you’ll need to transfer trains one or two times.

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Rick Steves Belgium
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 Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp & Ghent.

03/03/2024 10:54 am GMT

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(travel books, art books, language books, and maps).

Prices range from €30 to €100 one-way, depending on when you book your tickets to Bruges and the class of travel. 2nd class has the cheapest prices, but will also be busier and have smaller seats.

Traveling by coach is a good alternative if costs are a factor. From Amsterdam, Sloterdijk train station, direct buses leave multiple times daily and take 4 1/2 hours to Bruges. Bus ticket prices from Amsterdam to Bruges are usually half compared to train prices.

Renting a car allows you to move at your own pace and make stops as you wish. If you’re going to sites in the surrounding areas of the countryside, a rental car can be a smart decision.

Traveling From Amsterdam To Bruges By Train

Thalys at Amsterdam. You can take it to Antwerp or Brussels and transfer there to Bruges.
Thalys in Amsterdam, you take it to Antwerp or Brussels – © Hidden Holland

You can take either the Eurostar high-speed train or the IC Brussels to Belgium (Amsterdam to Brussels), both of which travel on high-speed lines. Travel time is about the same.

There are no direct services from Amsterdam to Bruges and back. Your trip always requires a minimum of one transfer.

You travel either via Antwerp or Brussels, depending on your departure time. Sometimes, you also need to transfer at Ghent.

When you book your ticket, it will tell you the total travel time and how often – and where – to transfer.

If you’d like to travel with the high-speed Thalys train, then look out for these connections. But Thalys train tickets are usually a bit higher priced than Intercity Brussels, which runs on the high-speed track but look like a regular train.

The first train departs from Amsterdam, leaves at 7:11 a.m., and gets you to Bruges at 10 a.m. Trains also stop at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and Rotterdam. The last Bruges to Amsterdam train back is at 7:58 p.m. and arrives at Amsterdam Central Station at 10:44 p.m.

PS: The information above was correct on the last update date at the top of this article, but timetables can change, so check the official railways website. Just enter your travel dates, and you will see actual departure and arrival times and current pricing.

As you can see, the travel time from Amsterdam to Bruges takes about 3 hours.

That leaves you with 9 hours of free time in Bruges. You can also take a train one hour later or return an hour earlier and still have plenty of time.

There are many options to take. However, you may want to stick to the times above to maximise your time in Bruges.

All trains leave from the Amsterdam Central Station. The Bruges train station is just outside of the city center. It makes for a pleasant 15-minute walk, mainly through the old town. Or you can take a taxi to the central square or a local bus.

I prefer the walk, but there are good alternatives if that is not an option for you.

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Traveling by train allows you to enjoy a comfortable ride while looking out the window and watching the Dutch and Belgian countryside pass you.

What I always appreciate about this mode of transport is that I do not have to pay attention to traffic. I can just read. And walk around to stretch my legs.

Plus, enjoy amenities like onboard free WiFi, making your journey more enjoyable.

I always travel 1st class on this journey. It’s relatively quieter, and the seats are wider and a little more comfortable. It’s worth the premium (about 50%) for me.

Tickets start as low as €30 one-way in 2nd class, and the lowest fare is €50 in 1st class. But those are usually only available months in advance.

These early bird fares go quickly. Prices can go up to triple that amount the closer to the departure date you book on popular services.

Intercity direct trains at Rotterdam Central station.
IC Brussels or Thalys to Belgium – Photo: NS

My advice: book your tickets in advance, as much as possible for the best prices and special deals available.

Bookings come with seat reservations for the first part of your journey between The Netherlands and Belgium if you travel on Thalys. For the domestic leg in Belgium, or if you travel on IC Brussels, there are no seat reservations. 

You can buy tickets online from Amsterdam to Bruges here from NS International, the official website of the Dutch Railways.

An Amsterdam to Bruges day trip by train is possible and relatively easy.

Amsterdam to Bruges Bus

There are several direct long-distance buses from Amsterdam to Bruges. These are all operated by Flixbus.

The bus leaves from Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station. So you do need to go there first. The bus trip takes 4 1/2 hours with two stops, in Rotterdam and Antwerp—however, there is no need to transfer.

If you take the first bus at 5:45 a.m., you get to Bruges just after 10 a.m. That is early! So, you still have your day.

If you prefer to go later, the bus is only viable for multi-day trips to Bruges.

Traveling by coach compared to train does save you money. Ticket prices are usually half. You can buy a ticket for the bus from Amsterdam to Bruges here (and look at the journey planner).

Amsterdam to Bruges by Car

It’s easy to travel from Amsterdam to Bruges by car. You have two options, first, you travel south (A2 > A27) to Antwerp.

From there, you can take the North Ring Road. Passing a tunnel that charges a toll. Or you can drive via Ghent.

The 2nd route is a bit longer, but I prefer this route (over Ghent).

The first route – crossing the toll tunnel in Antwerp – is a bit faster but an uncomfortable road at the end. It’s not all motorway.

If you travel over Ghent, it’s a motorway all the way. I like that better.

Renting a car in The Netherlands is straightforward. But I do have some tips.

First, I would not recommend renting from a location in Amsterdam City Center. I would travel to the airport instead by train and pick up my car there.

Traffic in Amsterdam is chaotic and slow. You don’t want to be involved in an accident within the first minutes of your rental or stuck on a small one-way street behind a garbage truck.

You can access the motorway from the airport immediately, making the journey much less stressful.

Once in Bruges, you can park at large parking lots on the outskirts of town. From there, you can usually walk or take a shuttle. The parking fee of a few euros includes bus transportation to and from the old town.

Parking is signposted when exiting the motorway.

You can also park in parking garages in the old town at higher prices, but prices are still more reasonable compared to Amsterdam.

Still, I would opt for the parking lots. Driving in an old town is a hassle, and getting into a traffic jam is easy.

Find the lowest price for Car rental in the Netherlands

For the best car rental rates, I suggest checking both Rental Cars and Discover Cars. I often go with Rental Cars, but it’s worth comparing both.

Taking a Guided Tour Bus to Bruges

Gorgeous view in Bruges, Belgium.
Gorgeous view in Bruges, Belgium.

I am usually not the biggest fan of guided bus tours. I find them always a little stereotyping. But at the same time, I do see their value.

You get where you need to go without worrying about anything yourself.

Your transportation is taken care of, and a live tour guide can tell your stories and anecdotes.

Recently, I have been on this Zaanse Schans windmill tour myself, and although it was very touristy, it was also a lot of fun.

This is the tour company I recommend for Amsterdam to Bruges tours. They run tours almost daily.

This Amsterdam to Bruges bus tour includes a one-hour guided city walk, and on top of that, you have 4 to 5 hours of free time.

Enough to take a boat ride, buy chocolates, and take in the beauty of this city.

Another smaller company also runs day tours from Amsterdam to Bruges by coach. They’re more affordable, but they don’t run as often.

Find A Place To Stay In Bruges

Find accommodation in Bruges for the lowest prices on your favorite platform. What's great about this map is that it shows both Hotels, as VRBO rentals (AirBNB but then cheaper).

Update your (intended) travel dates for accurate prices. TIP: Zoom out on the map (-) in the bottom right corner. This will show more options and availability.

Frequently Asked Questions Amsterdam to Bruges

What is the fastest way to get from Amsterdam to Bruges?

The fastest way is often by train, which takes around 3 hours. The car takes about 20 to 30 minutes longer (if you don’t hit traffic in Antwerp). The reason is that the last part of the trip goes over a slower road. By bus, the journey takes about 4 hours.

Are there direct trains from Amsterdam to Bruges?

No, there are no direct trains. You must typically change trains in Antwerp, Brussels, and sometimes in Ghent.

Is there an airport in Bruges?

There is no airport in Bruges. The nearest major airport to Bruges is Brussels Airport. From there you can take a train (leaving from the underground station inside the terminal building) to Bruges. There are no flights from Amsterdam to Bruges.

Is it possible to travel from Amsterdam to Bruges by boat?

It’s not possible to travel from Amsterdam to Bruges by boat. At least not for regular travelers. You might have a cruise itinerary that calls at both cities. That is possible. But you can’t book tickets just between these two cities.

Is it cheaper to travel by bus or train from Amsterdam to Bruges?

Bus travel is generally cheaper than train travel but might take longer.

Where can I buy train tickets from Amsterdam to Bruges?

I recommend booking your tickets with the Dutch Railways on their website. The earlier you book, the cheaper tickets will be. I recommend booking first-class tickets for this journey. It will be relatively quieter, and you have a more comfortable seat.

Can I take a day trip from Amsterdam to Brugge?

Yes, an Amsterdam to Bruges day trip is quite doable. It will be a long day. Consider the travel time, which will be 3-4 hours each way. I recommended staying overnight in Bruges to enjoy Bruges fully.

Are there guided tours from Amsterdam to Bruges?

Several tour operators offer day trips or multi-day tours from Amsterdam to Bruges. I recommend this Bruges Day tour, an alternative tour is this one.

Is Bruges worth visiting if I’m staying in Amsterdam?

Absolutely! Bruges is known for its medieval architecture, canals, and charming atmosphere, making it a popular destination. And let’s not forget about the delicious chocolate.

What is the best way to travel from Amsterdam to Bruges?

The train is the best way to get from Amsterdam to Bruges for most visitors since it’s the quickest way. You can find schedules and train prices here.

How Far is Bruges from Amsterdam?

The distance to Bruges from Amsterdam is 257 kilometers / 160 miles. You can cover this distance in 3 hours by train, or 3 1/2 hours by car. Buses usually take 4 to 4 1/2 hours.

Conclusion

Beautiful view on Bruges at sunset.
Beautiful view on Bruges at sunset.

Whether you choose the convenience of an organized tour, the train, a cheaper coach service, or the freedom of a rented car, your journey from Amsterdam to Brugge (Bruges) is bound to be an enjoyable journey to one of the most beautiful little cities in Europe.

PS: For me, a boat tour and a walk around the medieval UNESCO heritage city are always highlights of a visit (apart from eating).

Here is a combined ticket for a guided walk and boat tour around beautiful Bruges.

Safe travels!

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Does All Of This Feel Overwhelming?

Planning a trip well is a lot of work and can feel overwhelming. Know I’m here to help when you need assistance with your Netherlands vacation.

I offer Itinerary Consultations where I help you with ideas to improve your itinerary and make your trip planning much faster and less stressful. I also have local insights you don’t get from a guidebook.

Are you going to Bruges?

I’d love your thoughts: How do you plan to get there? Which activities are you planning in Bruges?. Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and let’s start a conversation 💬.

Save the article (#20) (#31)

WANT TO SAVE THIS ARTICLE?

Enter your email below & I'll send it straight to your inbox!

And each week, I'll send you new tips to plan your Netherlands vacation. If you decide it's not for you (any longer), unsubscribing is always just a click away.

Gerrit shares his love for the Netherlands from his home near Amsterdam, helping thousands plan unforgettable trips to the lowlands. Discover his inspiring journey "From a critical health scare to celebrating Holland's charms". If you want to send Gerrit a quick message, you can contact him here.

6 thoughts on “How To Get From Amsterdam To Bruges”

    • I’m so happy to hear that, that is why I create the site in the first place. If you get to Bruges I hope you’ll have a magical time there!

      Reply
  1. We are planning a trip to Amsterdam (and a few other european cities) later this year and hadn’t considered going to Bruges! But having read your article (I have been stalking your site over the last few days!) I am quite interested in taking a detour into Belgium, It looked beautiful so I did a bit of a google and it looks so quaint!
    Thank you for introducing me to new ideas.. I can still learn even at my age 😉

    Reply
    • 🤣 one of the best things learning new things. Bruges is so cute, and not that far from the Netherlands. But it is 4 hours each way on average so my tip would also be don’t plan to do too much or it will be overwhelming and not as enjoyable. If you have enough space in your calendar absolutely go, it’s beautiful. But if you have to squeeze it in, then go for a city closer to Amsterdam with similar levels of cuteness like Amersfoort (30 min), Delft (60 min), or Deventer (75 min). I love you’re finding this website helpful, that’s why I create it.

      Reply

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